They used sign language to ask Zachariah what he wanted him named.
Asking for a tablet, Zachariah wrote, "His name is to be John." That took everyone by surprise.
Surprise followed surprise - Zachariah's mouth was now open, his tongue loose, and he was talking, praising God!
A deep, reverential fear settled over the neighborhood, and in all that Judean hill country people talked about nothing else.
Everyone who heard about it took it to heart, wondering, "What will become of this child? Clearly, God has his hand in this."
Then Zachariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied,
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he came and set his people free.
He set the power of salvation in the center of our lives, and in the very house of David his servant,
Just as he promised long ago through the preaching of his holy prophets:
Deliverance from our enemies and every hateful hand;
Mercy to our fathers, as he remembers to do what he said he'd do,
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)